Download the complete PDF version of this document containing brief descriptions of each initiative.
May 25, 2010; revised September, 2010
14 Years of Change - September 2010 Revisions
Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement and our advisory board, the Building Development Commission (BDC), have worked together over the years to advance a wide range of
initiatives, benefitting Mecklenburg County citizens as well as the Department's customers
and staff. The following is a short list of the most significant initiatives, written in no
particular order of significance.
- Express Review
- Consistency Teams
- Residential Technical Answer Center (RTAC)
- Residential Drawing Submittal (RDS) Process
- Internet Permitting
- Internet Support of Inspections
- Code Compliance Task Force (CCTF) Re-inspection Fee Changes
- Commercial Technical Assistance Center (CTAC)
- Third Party Inspections/Plan Review Program
- Carbon Monoxide Alarm Ordinance
- Plan Review Task Force Commercial Permit Changes
- Redesign of All Customer Used Computer Screens
- Redesign of the Code Enforcement Website as www.meckpermit.com
- NC Rehab Code
- OnSchedule Commercial Plan Review Process
- Meck-SI: Paperless Special Inspections Process and Website
- Live-Work Code Change
- Inspection by Appointment (IBA)
- Residential Drawing Submittal-Electronic Plan Submittal (RDS-EPS) Startup
- Customer Self Permitting - HIP/TIP
- Green Permit Rebate Program (GPR)
- Code Compliance Task Force (CCTF) - Three Part Strategy including Contractor Pass Rate Incentives
- 2008 Proposed Commercial Plan Review Revisions
- AE Pass Rate Incentives
- NC Accessibility Code Switch to IBC Format
- Electric Car Initiative and Recognition of Best Practice
- 2010 Reorganization Plan
Current and Future Initiatives
At September 2010, the Department has the following key initiatives in progress or on
the drawing board.
Completely Paperless Process
Commercial Plan Review is the last roadblock to a completely paperless P&I process in Mecklenburg County. The introduction of Electronic Plan Submittal – Electronic Plan Review (EPS-EPR) in 2011 will eliminate paper from all OnSchedule and Mega project submittals. At the same time, plans are speeding up to introduce EPS in CTAC, modeling it after a more simplified RDS-EPS approach. These two steps, combined with the expansion of HIP & TIP criteria, will move the P&I process to 100% paper free, at the same time, and perhaps more importantly, giving customers far more control of their project schedules through self permit facilitation.
Sustainable Design in the Codes
This regards predicting the impact of sustainable design on the P&I process and involves a three part strategy.
- Technical Advisory Board (TAB): this is a new tool designed to be a component of the Building Development Commission, with a purpose of providing technical depth to the Department in evaluating the application and impact of building codes and their enforcement, on sustainable design or other new technology. The Technical Advisory Board will also provide technical depth evaluating complex mechanical-electrical-plumbing (MEP) Code compliance issues. The BDC August meeting completed appointments and TAB regular meetings start on September 14.
- Green Build Code Officials Team: it is critical to create a level of expertise in sustainable design among the code officials. To that end, we have appointed selected inspectors and plan reviewers to this team. They will participate in training and workshops, later serving as key resources to all other code officials on sustainable design projects or issues.
- Model Code Adoption: the International Code Council is moving quickly to create sustainable design codes, hoping to standardize requirements and building performance goals, before local initiatives fracture into enumerable varieties. This will be a different code compliance approach and format, so mobilizing training at the earliest opportunity will be critical, since use of these new standards will likely be early and heavy in Mecklenburg.
Interfacing with Building Information Modeling – Integrated Project Delivery (BIM-IPD)
Many leaders in the design and construction community believe BIM and IPD, along with other team based project delivery methods (design-build, CM, etc), will dominate the commercial sector within five years.
- Related predictions indicate design-bid-build projects will fall back to less than 15% of the market, with the balance being delivered by a team based project approach.
- Contractors conversant in both sustainable design and IPD indicate that in the future it will be difficult to deliver a sustainable design project without the use of something like a BIM-IPD process.
This trend responds to a historic efficiency problem in the construction industry, and is supported by the rapid growth of BIM, especially in construction offices. The result is that the owner’s entire team (AE, GC, et al) will begin working on problem solving earlier in the project. Consequently, BIM-IPD could cause a revolution in the permitting and inspection process; plan reviewers and inspectors both will likely work inside the BIM model, with results being exported to the Department’s record system; projects could change from taking out a few major phased permits, to gaining approval on a thousand slices of project details, which are immediately put into construction.
Code Enforcement is committed to both staying abreast of this trend and planning for the resulting changes. Working jointly with the City of Raleigh, we are pursuing a three part technology strategy supporting BIM-IPD, and also advancing related administrative code changes through the NC Building Code Council.